IT WAS A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE
On 25 April 1915 - the day the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli - Lieutenant Commander Dacre Stoker set out as captain of the Australian submarine AE2 on a mission to breach the treacherous Dardanelles Strait with the intention of disrupting Turkish supply lines to the isolated Gallipoli peninsula. Facing dangerous currents, mines and withering enemy fire, Stoker and his men succeeded where British and French submarines had come to grief. Stoker's achievement meant much in military terms, and even more emotionally in boosting the morale of embattled Allied troops. But what was proclaimed at the time as 'the finest feat in submarine history' has since sunk into oblivion. Few Australians even know their country had a submarine at Gallipoli, much less that it achieved daring feats, torpedoed an enemy craft, and possibly played a pivotal role in Anzac troops staying on the beachhead for eight months. Now, finally, Stoker's Submarine tells the story of a remarkable naval hero and the men under his command. And AE2 herself, still lying intact on the fl oor of the Sea of Marmara, is celebrated as the most tangible relic of Australia's role at Gallipoli, the crucible of nationhood.
About the Author
Fred Brenchley was a marvellously energetic and informed political correspondent and, later, a similarly energetic and successful newspaper and magazine editor and manager who helped save the Fairfax publishing group from financial disaster in the 1980s.